Is Anybody Listening?

many talk but few listen

And you…?

Isn’t it strange how we tend to expect much more of others than we do of ourselves…? In this forum I am thinking here particularly in the context of listening, of course. The implication is that we may expect others to listen to us, to our ideas, our problems, our life experiences – but we […]

What I said – what you heard…

The news in UK this past week has spent a lot of time covering two stories – one about top-flight footballer John Terry and the other concerning senior politician Andrew Mitchell. Both stories focused on what they claim they said against accusations based on what people say they heard. In theory these should both be […]

Listening as Therapy

No, I am not a therapist, but I have noticed how much people are helped when we simply listen. Sometimes we don’t even need to say anything, but just listen. That was something else I learned from my wife… I remember once when she came home after visiting someone facing difficulties. The lady poured out […]

The Importance of Understanding

Understanding works two ways. I am still haunted by the memory of talking to an American lady whom I had never met before. She listened politely, then told me – with a slight degree of embarrassment – “I’m very sorry but I hardly understood one word you were saying…!” Ooops! That was many moons ago […]

Christmas Context

The rapping Devon vicar who just won the Nativity Factor contest got me thinking about the need for getting people to hear in a contemporary way. Take a look at The Beatbox Nativity on YouTube – and enjoy it! It may not be everyone’s cup of tea – but he has caught the attention of […]

The Temptation to Shout Louder

I suppose that shouting louder is a very natural response – especially at the interpersonal level. People working in noisy environments, or among a bunch of noisy children, sometimes need to shout to be heard. But if people don’t want to hear, or if they are busy listening to something else, then shouting could be […]

Selective Listening

“You hear what you want to hear!” my mother used to tell me as a small child. And when I became a teenager too… There was a possibly a lot of truth in that. And it’s a truth that continues to this day, no doubt. My wife tells me she can see when I have […]

A Lost Art?

Is listening a lost art? In western culture at least where life is lived out at breakneck speed and few have time for anyone else. Gone are the days when children should be seen but not heard. Passive, obedient, well-mannered angels (?) that soaked up everything they were told. Well, that was the way that […]

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